District and Circle line trains are now once again stopping at Blackfriars Underground Station after a two-year closure - and now passengers starting their tube journeys on the South Bank or Bankside have an easier route.
Tube passengers with a travelcard or Oyster pay-as-you-go can pass freely through the National Rail Station at Blackfriars which, since December, has spanned the Thames with entrances on the north and south banks.
An Oyster pay-as-you-go passenger entering the station from Bankside must touch their Oyster card on all three sets of barriers before boarding a tube train, as well as at the end of their Underground journey. If they do this, their card Balance will automatically be adjusted so they are not charged for passing through Blackfriars mainline station.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson visited the station on Monday to see the new-look interchange for himself.
"With its magnificent ticket hall, brand new lifts and escalators, and more than double the previous capacity, the rebirth of this central London station will improve the journeys of thousands of passengers every single day," said Mr Johnson.
"An incredible amount of hard work and expertise has been invested in these improvements, and Blackfriars is now set to become a truly world-class station."
Laurence Whitbourn, Network Rail's senior programme manager for Blackfriars, said: "Rebuilding Blackfriars Underground station was a hugely complex engineering challenge; we excavated, demolished and rebuilt the whole station while Underground trains continued to run beneath our feet, and Thameslink services ran overhead.
"The new Underground station brings our plan for the whole of Blackfriars one step closer to completion. Both tube and rail passengers at Blackfriars stand to benefit from a modern, accessible station; longer, more frequent Thameslink trains; and convenient connections between services."
Some of the hoardings have now been removed from the south entrance at Blackfriars, giving the passenger a clearer impression of what the station will be like when work is completed this summer.
For the last month the Thames Path on the south side of the river at Blackfriars has been shut overnight to allow construction work on the station to continue. A series of weekend closures of the Thames Path have also been announced. The next is this coming weekend (25/26 February).
When the path is closed, pedestrians are diverted via Hopton Street.
Train operator First Capital Connect recently confirmed that weekday late-night and weekend train services on the central London section of the Thameslink route will resume from May this year after athree-and-a-half years of engineering work. The resumption of daily through train services will provide new weekend journey opportunities for Bankside and South Bank residents and easier 7-day links to both Luton and Gatwick Airports.
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